Kurt Koontz thought he was well prepared for his 490-mile walking trip on the historic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. He was fit and strong. He had a good guidebook and all the right equipment. His pilgrim passport would grant him access to the shelter of hostels along the way. But all that, however helpful, did not begin to encompass the grandeur of his external or internal adventure. A Million Steps climbs over the high meadows of the Pyrenees, quests through the unceasing wind of the Meseta, and dances in the rains of Galicia. While following the yellow arrows that mark the route, Koontz also navigates through his personal history of addiction, recovery, and love. With outgoing humor and friendliness, he embraces the beauty of the countryside and joyful connections to other pilgrims from around the world. Part diary, part travelogue, A Million Steps is a journey within a journey all the way to the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela and beyond.
Battalion 3/5 suffered the highest number of casualties in the war in Afghanistan. This is the story of one platoon in that distinguished battalion. Aware of U.S. plans to withdraw from the country, knowing their efforts were only a footprint in the sand, the fifty Marines of 3rd Platoon fought in Sangin, the most dangerous district in all of Afghanistan. So heavy were the casualties that the Secretary of Defense offered to pull the Marines out. Instead, they pushed forward. Each Marine in 3rd Platoon patrolled two and a half miles a day for six months—a total of one million steps—in search of a ghostlike enemy that struck without warning. Why did the Marines attack and attack, day after day? Every day brought a new skirmish. Each footfall might trigger an IED. Half the Marines in 3rd Platoon didn’t make it intact to the end of the tour. One Million Steps is the story of the fifty brave men who faced these grim odds and refused to back down. Based on Bing West’s embeds with 3rd Platoon, as well as on their handwritten log, this is a gripping grunt’s-eye view of life on the front lines of America’s longest war. Writing with a combat veteran’s compassion for the fallen, West also offers a damning critique of the higher-ups who expected our warriors to act as nation-builders—and whose failed strategy put American lives at unnecessary risk. Each time a leader was struck down, another rose up to take his place. How does one man instill courage in another? What welded these men together as firmly as steel plates? This remarkable book is the story of warriors caught between a maddening, unrealistic strategy and their unswerving commitment to the fight. Fearsome, inspiring, and poignant in its telling, One Million Steps is sure to become a classic, a unique and enduring testament to the American warrior spirit. Praise for One Million Steps “West shows the reality of modern warfare in a way that is utterly gripping.”—Max Boot, author of Invisible Armies “A gripping, boot-level account of Marines in Afghanistan during the bloody struggle with Taliban fighters.”—Los Angeles Times “One Million Steps transcends combat narrative: It is an epic of contemporary small-unit combat.”—Eliot A. Cohen, author of Supreme Command “A blistering assault on America’s senior military leadership.”—The Wall Street Journal “A heart-pounding portrayal . . . a compelling account of what these men endured.”—The Washington Post “Stunning, sobering, and brilliantly written.”—Newt Gingrich “One of the most intrepid military journalists, Bing West, delivers a heart-wrenching account of one platoon’s fight.”—Bill Bennett, host of Morning in America “Bing West has reconfirmed his standing as one of the most intrepid and insightful observers of America’s wars. . . . One Million Steps reveals the essence of small-unit combat, the very soul of war.”—The Weekly Standard “A searing read, but it is one that all Americans should undertake. We send our sons into battle, and few know what our warriors experience.”—The Washington Times From the Hardcover edition.
Nimblewill Nomad's Epic 10-Month Trek from the Florida Keys to Qubec
Author: M. J. Eberhart
Publisher: Menasha Ridge Press
M. J. Eberhart, aka the Nimblewill Nomad, was a 60-year-old retired doctor in January 1998 when he set off on a foot journey that carried him 4,400 miles (twice the length of the Appalachian Trail) from the Florida Keys to the far north of Quebec. Written in a vivid journal style, the author unabashedly recounts the good (friendships with other hikers he met), the bad (sore legs, cutting winds and rain), and the godawful (those dispiriting doubts) aspects of his days of walking along what has since become known as the Eastern Continental Trail (ECT). An amazing tale of self-discovery and insight into the magic that reverberates from intense physical exertion and a high goal, Eberhart’s is the only written account of a thru-hike along the ECT. Covering 16 states and 2 Canadian provinces, Ten Million Steps deftly mixes practical considerations of an almost unimaginable undertaking with the author’s trademark humor and philosophical musings.
The workplace is a key setting for the prevention of occupational risks and for promoting healthy activities such as physical activity. Developing a physically active lifestyle results in many health benefits, improving both well-being and quality of life. This article details the experience of two Spanish companies that implemented a program to promote physical exercise in the workplace, called “A Million Steps.” This program aimed to increase the physical activity of participants, challenging them to reach at least a million steps in a month through group walks. Participant workers reached the set goal and highlighted the motivational and interpersonal functions of the program.
True life stories about encounters on a pilgrimage walk by two authors, Phil and Manuela Cheney, along the Camino de Santiago in 2015. Inspirational stories about people from 15 countries across the world sharing their humanity! The people who met for the first time on the trail share their own journeys both before and during their adventure into northern Spain. This is not a travelogue, it is a travel encounter with real people and mysterious spiritual synchronicity. The style is light, the authors write with fun and honesty, and reading this book is in the words of one reader, "impossible to put down, I was intending to read a chapter or two, but I finished the whole book in one sitting." Those who have walked the 'Way' will resonate with this collection, and the photos that show the character of Spain and its peregrinos.
The Thirty-nine Million Steps is the true story of an epic 'end to end' solo walk the length of Britain. Entertaining and beautifully written from start to finish, this book is as charming as it is inspirational. Vivid descriptions let the reader follow every step of the way from the very tip of Cornwall to the further corner of Caithness. The author's careful observations provide insight into a changing nation and an antidote to the chaos of modern commuter life. Written in accessible but elegant English, this book is ideal for any student of the English language. Complete with helpful footnotes, this book will enable students not only to improve their English, but also to learn about the people, the history, the geography, the culture and the character of Britain.
How a New Understanding of the Brain Will Lead to the Creation of Truly Intelligent Machines
Author: Jeff Hawkins
From the inventor of the PalmPilot comes a new and compelling theory of intelligence, brain function, and the future of intelligent machines Jeff Hawkins, the man who created the PalmPilot, Treo smart phone, and other handheld devices, has reshaped our relationship to computers. Now he stands ready to revolutionize both neuroscience and computing in one stroke, with a new understanding of intelligence itself. Hawkins develops a powerful theory of how the human brain works, explaining why computers are not intelligent and how, based on this new theory, we can finally build intelligent machines. The brain is not a computer, but a memory system that stores experiences in a way that reflects the true structure of the world, remembering sequences of events and their nested relationships and making predictions based on those memories. It is this memory-prediction system that forms the basis of intelligence, perception, creativity, and even consciousness. In an engaging style that will captivate audiences from the merely curious to the professional scientist, Hawkins shows how a clear understanding of how the brain works will make it possible for us to build intelligent machines, in silicon, that will exceed our human ability in surprising ways. Written with acclaimed science writer Sandra Blakeslee, On Intelligence promises to completely transfigure the possibilities of the technology age. It is a landmark book in its scope and clarity.